With a growing global consciousness of environmentalism and carbon footprints, comes the growth and opening of various green industries that haven't previously had a chance. One of those budding green markets is that of hybrid vehicle manufacturing, with production to blossom worldwide with many different countries and companies.
Toyota Motor Corp announced earlier this month that it will begin production of Toyota hybrid cars in China by 2015. All production, research, and development of these electric vehicles will take place in Changshu, a city near Shanghai, in a brand new facility. China is expected to become the world's largest market in hybrid vehicles, so multinational companies like Toyota are working to take the lead and to develop a competitive advantage above the others. In Japan, Nissan Motor Co. is also planning to produce Nissan hybrid vehicles by 2015, aiming for a 35 percent fuel economy improvement across its fleets in Japan, China, Europe, and the United States.
It's not just the production of Toyota hybrid cars and Ford hybrid cars that are on the rise, but also the research and development of new and improved hybrid vehicles as well. GM Korea, for example, is set to release not only the first hybrid vehicle in its segment in Korea, but this new model will also a 25 percent improved fuel economy over standard cars. The Alpheon eAssist, as the new model is called, is the first hybrid car from GM Korea and will get 33.2 miles per gallon. It's also projected that this hybrid vehicle reduce carbon emissions by 22 percent. This means that hybrid cars are getting better and better, and that more automotive companies are trying to ride the new bandwagon of hybrid vehicles.
With the words "hybrid cars" comes images of mid-sized passenger vehicles geared toward the middle class. But, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Center for Environmental Research and Technology are considering hybrid vehicles of a different sort: hybrid construction vehicles. This new research will evaluate the emission reduction benefits of two commercially available hybrid construction vehicles: a Caterpillar bulldozer and a Komatsu hydraulic excavator. Manufacturers are saying the hybrid vehicles reduce fuel needs by 20 percent and cut emissions by 30 percent, opening up plenty of opportunity in the industrial or commercial hybrid vehicle market. After all, no one has said that hybrid vehicles must be restricted to highways, cities, and suburbs. If hybrid construction vehicles are shown to not only save money, but also to reduce carbon emissions, the hybrid vehicle industry might see new players on the manufacturing side as well as in the businesses looking to purchase these hybrid vehicles.
From this "out-of-the-hybrid-car" thinking comes even more opportunity for hybrid vehicle manufacturing. Chrysler Group LLC has been conducting research on hybrid pick-up trucks and hybrid minivans, although there aren't any plans to take these vehicles to mass production quite yet. Hybrid vehicles such as pick-up trucks and minivans offer environmentally-conscious consumers more practical options for automotive transportation instead of the smaller Toyota Prius or Ford Fusion Hybrid, and might also expand the market to those who want a hybrid vehicle, but don't have a use for something so small.
Overall, hybrid vehicle manufacturing is very strong, with plenty of opportunity if the coming years for more types of hybrid vehicles and more companies innovating to come out with better and better hybrid vehicles.